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The [Monday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

First, a programming note. You may have noticed how late the column has been getting posted lately, and a bit of a slowdown in other sections. Or hopefully not!

But we've been coping with some tech issues which we believe are now resolved. We've upgraded our site to the newest, shiniest version of Movable Type, which should be of great help to us because we were still running a pretty old version. This should improve performance as well as offer us many new features to incorporate into the site once we find the time and help to do so.

Also, we've had a miserable experience with Media Temple as our host the last couple of years, and they were nothing but hugely aggravating during our latest issues - which were really their issues. We'd like to publicly extend our gratitude to the good folks at Hosting Matters who helped us out this weekend even though we aren't even one of their customers.

We pay Media Temple and yet Hosting Matters stepped in with impressive expertise and responsiveness.

Here's the funny thing: As I furiously rummaged through various forums and threads trying to identify solutions to our tech issues and/or find others experiencing the same kind of problem with their Movable Type publishing system on Media Temple, I came across a thread that seemed to nail it. I sent an e-mail to the expert on the thread and was notified in a return e-mail that I had just opened a support ticket with Hosting Matters! I didn't mean to, but I found that awfully amusing; I was so upset with Media Temple I opened a support ticket with a company that isn't even our vendor.

Hosting Matters turned out to be wonderful, and, duh, it was in their business interest to help out, but how many other companies would have? Not the one we pay! So, of course, we are now seriously considering moving our hosting to our new heroes. We have a lot on our plate right now (ugh, the everlasting ongoing explorations of business prospects . . . one day I'll write a book) so we haven't made any final decisions, but we will give it serious, serious consideration. Because Media Temple really sucks.

All Hands On Deck
* Man Your IOC Battle Stations!

* Blago Story Getting Juicy.

* Top Cop Deja Vu.

* Illinois DNR Takes Page From AIG.

Izzo F'Shizzo
Is there a better college basketball coach in all the land than the man at MSU? Our very own Jim Coffman doesn't think so. In SportsMonday.


By the way, if you had followed the Beachwood Brackets, you'd still be in it right now. In a big way.


"Smokestacks and fuel storage tanks fill the distance while the roofs of the barns and the backside worker's dorms and Cicero Avenue splay just outside a tall white picket fence," our man on the rail, Thomas Chambers, writes in "Handicapping Hawthorne."

Testing, Testing
Is this the new Tribune?

Our Senator's Secret Evidence
"Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) claims he has proof he never made an inconsistent statement about his appointment to the Senate, only he can't show it to you," Ben Protess of ProPublica reports.

Online Is Hiring
"Ex-print journalists appear to have found a new home: AOL," MediaPost reports.

"As a growing wave of newspapers file for bankruptcy, slash budgets or go online-only, the Web portal is snapping up seasoned reporters and editors to staff its expanding roster of niche sites."

The Beachwood Media Company's business model has never been a mystery and has remained the same from the start; I speak about it often. We have conceived of a stable of sites whereby a couple of sites in particular look to be the real revenue-generators. As the Media Management Center says, news organizations these days have to be "portfolio entrepreneurs."

A lot of other folks are finally catching on.


"The popular blog Huffington Post says it is bankrolling a group of investigative journalists," AP reports. "Blog co-founder Arianna Huffington says she hopes to draw from the ranks of laid-off journalists."

New ventures will use the discarded assets of the old ventures to pound the final nails in their coffins.


As I've written before, this is a great time for journalists because there are growing alternatives should you find your newspaper shut down one day. Previously in my lifetime newspapers just died and there was nowhere else to go; now there's a better place to go. Yes, the opportunities are still out of balance with the number of jobs lost, but that will work itself out over time. Besides, who's to blame for that? If newspapers had already created these new opportunities themselves, that wouldn't be a problem now, would it?

Socialized Media
"I think the real tension comes from corporations/organizations trying to force their online engagement into a transactional interaction while in the process of relationship-building," writes Keidra Chaney at The Learned Fangirl. Mostly because companies are so focused on the end-game (buy our product! give us money!) they don't spend enough time really doing the first thing on my list, interacting and communicating with the community they are trying to build. They are too eager to exploit the community interaction before it's even had time to build.

"That's why bottom-up, fan-based communities tend to grow and mobilize more effectively, the rules of engagement are different, people want to connect with each other; the end game is the connection, not the transaction."

Don't Be A Chump
Via Consumer World:

* Credit card companies are the new loan sharks.

* The 14 oz. Pint and Other Downsized Products.

* The Secret Date When Airfares Skyrocket.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Bottoms up!


Posted on March 30, 2009

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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